Photo of Taupō Fishery regulations.
Image: DOC


Learn about the 'rules' governing fishing in the Taupō Fishing District.

The 2024 Taupō Fishery Anglers Notice contains rules which all anglers must comply with. The Taupō Fishery Regulations also contain some additional legal requirements relating to the Taupō Fishery. 

Penalties apply to people who fish in the Taupō District without a Taupō fishing licence, or who fail to comply with the rules and regulations of the fishery.

Rules and regulations you must follow

1. Anglers notice and regulations

2. Lake Rotoaira

This lake is managed by the Lake Rotoaira Trust, so the Taupō Fishery Regulations and Anglers Notice do not apply. Lake Rotoaira licences can be purchased through the Taupō fishery 'online licence store' or through selected outlets.

3. Size limits

Note: size is measured from tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.

Minimum size is 35 cm except the following:

  • Waipakihi River upstream of Rangipo Dam, Lake Moawhango and Lake Otamangakau: no minimum size
  • Lake Kuratau and the river upstream of the lake: minimum size is 30 cm.

Maximum size of 55 cm applies at Lake Otamangakau.

4. Daily bag limit

On any day you must stop fishing once you have kept the daily bag limit of trout:

  • Lake Kuratau and Moawhango and the Waipaki River upstream of the Rangipo Dam: no daily bag limit.
  • Lake Otamangakau, two trout per day regardless of species.
  • All other waters in the Taupō Fishing District, six trout per day regardless of species.

5. Fishing hours

You may fish only between 5:00 am and 12:00 midnight on any day.

6. Fishing seasons

There are a number of waters where fishing is prohibited at all times, and others where defined open seasons apply. See map of Taupō Fishing District below.

7. Fishing methods

In all cases
  • You can only fish with one rod at any time, but you may have other assembled rods with you.
  • You may use up to three flies or lures on your line.
  • Only single-point hooks may be used, and a lure (including flies) may not have more than one hook attached.
  • There is no weight restriction on flies and lures but the maximum allowable hook size is one that has a 14 mm gap between point and shank.
  • The use of baits is not permitted and only artificial flies or lures may be used for trolling, jigging and spinning.
Trolling and jigging
  • On Lake Taupō, you must not troll or jig within 200 m of the landmark post or posts situated at the mouth or mouths of tributary rivers and streams (landmark posts are marked with white, black and yellow rings) as these areas are restricted to fly-fishing only.
  • You may put the rod in a rod holder, but only a licensed angler can fish with it.
  • A person must not use any fish attracting electronic devices.
Fly fishing
  • Most of the rivers in the Taupō Fishing District are restricted to fly fishing only. The exceptions are the Tongariro upstream of Waikato Falls and including the Waipakihi River, the Kuratau River upstream of the hydro-electric supply dam, the Hinemaiaia River upstream of the HB dam, and the Waikato River from the lake outlet to Huka Falls.
  • In fly-fishing-only waters you may attach weight such as a splitshot to the line to facilitate the sinking of the fly and a yarn indicator. You must use a fly rod, fly reel, fly line, leader and artificial fly, and you must not use a float or attach weight to facilitate casting.
  • Artificial fly means any lure of feather, fur, wool or other material used in the making of artificial flies.
  • Fishing from a boat within fly-fishing-only waters is allowed at the mouths of the Tongariro and Tauranga Taupō Rivers and the lower Tongariro River downstream of Downs Pool; but in all these cases the boat must be securely anchored. Boats include float tubes and canoes.
Spin fishing
  • Spin fishing is permitted in Lake Taupō outside of the fly-fishing-only areas (see Trolling and Jigging above), in the Tokaanu Tailrace and in those exceptions to the river fly-fishing-only restriction listed under 'Fly fishing'.
  • Spin fishing is also permitted in lakes Te Whaiau, Otamangakau, Kuratau and in the Hinemaiaia River upstream of the lower dam.

8. Sale of trout

It is illegal to sell or purchase trout.

9. Indigenous fish

The taking of koura and other fish indigenous to Lake Taupō is permitted only for members of the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe.

10. Footwear

The wearing of felt-soled boots is not permitted when fishing for trout.

If you ignore the rules and regulations

You may be issued an infringement fine or prosecuted.

More about DOC's enforcement tools

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